I must admit that I’m a sucker for a good chick flick. When I saw the trailer for The Back-up Plan I decided that I really wanted to see it. Jennifer Lopez had been great in The Wedding Planner and I also thought Maid in Manhattan had its cuteness. So I was truly looking forward to seeing the film. Unfortunately after things in The Back-up Plan got going I couldn’t wait for the film to end.
As far as the story goes The Back-up Plan, like many romantic comedies, is very predictable. The promotional poster tells you everything: “Fall in love. Get Married. Have a baby. Not necessarily in that order.” Typically I’m fine with the predictability of the chick flick as the journey is enjoyable, and it’s always nice to see how each tries to take a unique twist on the featured relationship. But in this case, despite having an interesting concept the on-screen romance falls flat.
Alex O’Loughlin plays Stan, the male love interest in the flick. I must say that to me he was the best part of the movie. (Well him and the “actor” that got the most crowd reaction in every screen appearance—Nuts the dog who uses a doggie wheelchair.) O’Loughlin was handsome, endearing, and his reactions to the happenings around him gave me the most laughs. His playground interactions with actor Anthony Anderson are in my opinion the best chemistry of actors presented in the film.
As for the chemistry between Stan and Zoe (played by Jennifer Lopez) I simply didn’t feel it. Their entire relationship seemed forced. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt that this couple really meshes. And despite times when we were led to believe it was a passionate moment, I simply didn’t buy the passion.
Now Lopez was able to hold up a believable relationship with the other people in her life such as friends (mainly Michaela Watkins from SNL and The New Adventures of Old Christine), her Nana (played by TV’s Alice star Linda Lavin), and her pet store staff which includes Eric Christian Olsen whom many may recognize from TV’s Community.
This film was passionate about displaying over the top comedy, predominantly in scenes with Zoe’s single moms support group. Although I thought Melissa McCarthy (a.k.a. Sookie on Gilmore Girls) was funny the other members came across as awkwardly forced comedy bits.
Then after they take you through over-the-top humor they want to bring you back to a serious note to add drama. But to be honest I was so disenchanted with Zoe’s character that I didn’t feel sorry for her during her emotional reflection period.
I’d suggest pulling out your DVD of The Wedding Planner and saving your money for the next chick flick. But if you’re still hoping to check it out I say wait for it to hit RedBox or Netflix and rent it.
Still curious? You can find out more about the film at its official website http://www.theback-upplan.com/ or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.